State lawmakers condemn impeachment of Kogi Speaker

Governor Idris Wada of Kogi
Idris Wada, Kogi state governor

The Speaker was removed by 12 of the 25 lawmakers of the Assembly

The Conference of State Legislatures of Nigeria, CSLN, on Tuesday condemned the purported impeachment of Abdullahi Bello, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

The Chairman of the Conference and Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Inuwa Garba, made the statement at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Following the crisis that led to the impeachment of the speaker of Kogi, the conference set up a six man fact-finding committee headed by the Kwara speaker, Mr. Razak Atunwa.

“Based on the available evidence, it is clear that the purported impeachment of Abdullahi Bello was not done in accordance with provision of 1999 Constitution, which requires a two-third majority of members vote in order to impeach a speaker,” he said.

Mr. Garba said since the Kogi House of Assembly has 25 members, two-third will translate to 17 members required for an impeachment.

He said that only 12 members sought to impeach the speaker, which is “a breach of Section 92(2) (e) of the constitution.’’

The chairman said that CSLN frowned at the breach of the constitution by some members of Kogi State House of Assembly and would address Mr. Bello as the legitimate speaker.

Mr. Garba called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney General of the Federation to protect the constitution by ensuring that the Kogi State House of Assembly returned to status quo.

He also appealed to the Inspector General of Police to restore the security details which were “improperly” withdrawn from the speaker.

Also speaking, the Speaker of the Nassarawa State House of Assembly, Musa Mohammed, said that the conference was not in any way against impeachment of any speaker that was found wanting.

Mr. Mohammed added that as lawmakers, they were only concerned about the process leading to Mr. Bello’s impeachment which was not in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He restated the CSLN’s commitment to the norms of democratic procedure, respect for rule of law, transparency and accountability in governance.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the embattled Kogi Speaker and other principal officers of the House were impeached on October 16 in a secret session by some lawmakers.

Mr. Bello described his impeachment as illegal as 12 out of 25 members signed the petition against him.

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